Families who participated in Wilkey Elementary School’s Toyota bornlearning Academy celebrated their graduation from the program on Thursday night.
The early-education program, which was started this year, was made possible by United Way of Central Kentucky, a generous grant by Toyota, and local organizers, sponsors, volunteers and caregivers.
Wilkey was chosen as one of only ten schools to participate in the program this year, and according to co-coordinator Jennifer Hall Logsdon, it was a great success.
The academy allowed families to meet monthly for themed programs that were aimed at helping children age six and under to become better prepared for entering school.
While each meeting included plenty of engaging activities for the kids, they also provided activities for the entire family to participate in together.
From a teddy bear picnic to an interactive kid-sized grocery store, the children were able to learn plenty of skills that will help them to achieve higher goals in kindergarten and beyond.
Logsdon said she is hoping to expand the program next year to include an alumni academy as well, for students who have already graduated from the bornlearning academy. She is also hoping to see more families join in next year.
Parents of graduating youngsters said that they thought the program was both beneficial and enjoyable.
Tabitha Hack said that the bornlearning academy helped her kids to be more outgoing. “It’s gotten the kids more interactive. They’re not as shy now,” she said. Hack had three children participating, aged six, four, and eighteen months, and said that the coordinators did a great job of making learning opportunities for each of her children’s age groups.
Signe Poradish said her young daughter, Kristina, really enjoyed the books each family received from sponsors at each gather. Listening in near by, her daughter exclaimed, bright-eyed, “I like books!”
The programs organizers also took the opportunity to recognize many groups and individuals who worked together to make the academy possible, including teachers, cafeteria employees, and other volunteers who took the time to help out and sponsor businesses who provided funds.